Emily Dickinson Secrets Quilt, Finished

Emily Dickinson Secrets Quilt

I put the last stitch in my Emily Dickinson Secrets quilt this morning.  I got all the tacking done last night just before going to Bellydancing class.  And when I get home from Bellydancing, I’m too tired to do anything but eat and go to bed.

I also sold the quilt to the first woman who asked about it.  She knew she wanted it when I first started making it, but I always like to finish a piece before selling it.  So I gave her first choice and yesterday she wrote to me and said she wanted it.

Here’s  a photo of the back.  I couldn’t have imaged a better backing….

In the book  The Gorgeous Nothings which is a collection of images of the envelopes that Emily Dickinson’s wrote note and parts of poems on, Jan Brevin  wrote:

“These manuscripts are sometimes still referred to as “scraps” within Dickinson scholarship.  Rather one might think of them as the sort of  “small fabric”  Dickinson writes of in one corner of  [a]  large envelope interior.”

” When we  say small we often mean less.  When Dickinson says small, she means fabric, atoms, and the North Star.”

This is what Emily Dickinson wrote on that “large envelope interior”

I  folded and sewed this linen to look like one of the envelopes Emily Dickinson used to write on.

I wanted to use this linen became of the vulva shape in the middle.  Then I cut the embroidered flowers off another  linen that was heavily stained and keeping the vulva shape, sewed them above and below the original lace work.

 

A detail from the quilt

You can read and see my whole process in creating this quilt here.

“No One Has To Die For Me To Be Free”, My Fabric Painting In It’s New Home

 

No One Has To Die For Me To Be Free

Deborah sent me this photo of my fabric painting, No One Has To Die For Me To Be Free, hanging on the wall above her bed.   She also sent me a photo without the dogs, but I thought  they were too sweet to leave out.  I love the rod she chose to hang it from. It works just right with the piece.

I love to see where my work goes.  I always feel like a mother bird, pushing her babies out of the nest, whenever I send a piece of my art out into the world.

I’ve seen reproductions of this piece, repeatedly, because I made it into note cards and used the image of the goddess to make bookmarks that I put in with each of my Etsy orders.   But seeing her tattooed face again is inspiring me to do something similar to the body of my  goddess becoming, that I found a head for yesterday.

But then, isn’t that just the way things happen….

The Goddess Becoming

During the winter, I stopped,  just before putting this piece of wood in the woodstove and saw how it was really a goddess waiting to be awoke.

So I went looking for this hunk of marble that I knew was in the yard somewhere, found it and asked Ray, who made the work table for my studio, if he could drill two holes in it.

He did and then I used two long screws to attach the piece of wood (one under each leg) to the marble.

Since then, she’s been on my computer desk in my studio, waiting to emerge.

At one point I draped the stings of button over her shoulders. They came from a piece I never finished and they looked right on her, but she still needed a head.

It was just a few days ago when I saw the old hand rake, that was in the barn when we moved to the farm, on the front porch.

I always saw it as a hand and even offered it to Ed Gulley, my our friend, the farmer and artist, who died last year.  But Ed had a feeling I’d find a use for it.

I think it’s because I always though of as a hand that the idea that it was also a head didn’t occur to me. Not until I walked out onto the front porch last weekend and saw it sitting on the wicker table along with a small garden shovel, where it’s been all winter.

Suddenly, the fingers became hair, the palm of the hand, a face, and the handle, a neck.

Yesterday, when I should have been tacking my Emily Dickinson Secrets quilt, I drilled a hole in the handle of the old hand rake and found a screw just the right length, then attached the goddesses head to her body.

There’s still more to do.

She already has a vulva (you can see it in the bark between her legs) but she needs breasts and a bellybutton.  Maybe some decoration on her body.  I don’t see a face yet, I don’t know if she needs one.  Maybe just eyes if anything.

She’s slow in becoming, but we’re in no hurry.

She’s been a reminder for me to trust in the creative process and to allow things to come in their own time.

My goddess, back on my computer desk, becoming.

Sister’s Quilts In Their New Bedroom

Sisters quilts in their new bedroom

Ellen Stimson sent me this photo of the Sister’s Quilts I made for her and wrote:

The Quilts … are gorgeous. Really wonderful.

They are right this minute thrown across soft blue striped comforter covers (sort of a quiet ticking) and they are a loud cacophony of spring colour and happiness.
Thank you thank you
I love them
Ellen aways writes the most wonderful things about my work.  But then she is a writer...

Emily Dickinson, Secrets Quilt. Back and Batting

I got batting and backing on my Emily Dickinson, Secrets quilt today.  Tomorrow I’ll tack it with an off-white yarn.

Because of the linens it’s has a nice weight to it and it feels substantial.   I  had the perfect backing for it.  It’s a comforter cover that Carolyn sent to me and it was the first thing to come to mind when I thought about what the backing should be.

I forgot to take a picture of it, so I’ll post one tomorrow.

 

Waldeinsamkeit

Waldeinsamkeit is a German word meaning: The feeling of being alone in the woods, an easy solitude and a connectedness to nature.  

I didn’t expect to be back in the wood behind the farm till the fall when the ticks and tall grasses both died back.  But yesterday it called to me and I couldn’t resist.

Everything was so different from the last time I was there.  I was bathed in green and the sound of rushing water from the little waterfall and steam.  And as I walked, I was overcome with the feeling of being embraced by a soft and welcoming presence.

It was as if the woods hadn’t expected to see me so soon either and was glad I was back.

I wandered around, visiting the Shagbark Hickory and the big old Maple, that was probably left to grow to  give shade to the animals who used to graze within the stone walls.

Then I saw the cluster of mushrooms.

One had a perfectly round hole in it as if a tiny creature was living inside of it.  When I got back home I opened an email from Sharon with a link to an article about Morels.  The same mushrooms I had seen on the path and taken a picture of.

Morel

I can still bring up what it felt like walking in the woods yesterday. But I know in a couple of days, maybe even by tomorrow, it will be gone.

So I’ll just have to go back, I have some natural tick repellent coming in the mail.  If it actually works, I’ll get to be in the woods behind the farm all summer, something I haven’t done before.

I can’t wait to see what I’ll find there.

Shagbark Hickory

What Music Can Do, Emma Stevens Singing “Blackbird”

When I first heard Emma Stevens who is 16 years old, sing “Blackbird” in her native Mi’kmaq language, I felt like I was hearing the song for the first time.

It was so beautiful and moving, I thought, that this is the way it was really meant to be sung, when Paul McCartney wrote it over 50 years ago.

I feel like that’s what music and art can do, go back and forth in time and move from place to place, till it touches us all.

Our 12th Podcast, “The Creative Life”

Photo by Jon Katz

“Let’s do a podcast on creativity” I said to Jon.  “Ya know, our creative life together, our creative process, that stuff.”

I was inspired by something I read in Carolyn Burke’s book  Foursome :Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Stand and Rebecca Salsbury.   She wrote about O’Keeffe and Stieglitz:

Then as now, there were few examples of marriages that enhance the creativity of both partners,  in which the claims of both head and heart are the bases for intimacy.

So Jon and I started our day by making our 12th podcast (we got the numbers wrong last time) called The Creative Life.

We talk about how creativity drew us together from the beginning and how it continues to shape our lives.

You can listen to The Creative Life podcast,  by clicking here.

You can also listen to any of our Katz and Wulf On Bedlam Farm  podcasts, at any time, by clicking on the podcast buttons on the top and bottom of my blog.  Or you can find them on iTunes and Google.

Full Moon Fiber Art